This review is brought to us courtesy of Cap’n Schwartz, one of our most devoted readers.
The best advice I ever received, was a number of years ago from my Kenpo Martial Arts instructor. At that point in time, I was involved with a girl who I REALLY REALLY likedâ€¦ a lot. It was a story that I had thought for sure was going to have a perfect story book ending, it even had all the drama of her feelings being torn between myself and another she constantly struggled to have a long relationship with.
But, as some sad stories are just meant to be, her and I were not, of course leaving yours truly with a crushed heart and devastated. I never really discussed my personal relationships with my biological family, and my friends never really got my perspective. So as I was very close to my instructor at the time, I was able to share how heartbreaking this was for me and he understood it well. It was at this time in my life, he gave me the most effective advice Iâ€™d ever heard in my life, that still rings true for me in instances today.
My instructorâ€™s earth shattering advice was that he simply told meâ€¦ â€œNextâ€.
I share this story with all of the eager hero readers out there in that, if you have your hand on the DVD for Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow, you might heed the advice from my instructor. With any movie for me, the best part is always the previews, its something to be excited about. On a Marvel animated picture. Itâ€™s always exciting as they usually give snippets of soon to be released Marvel Hero animations. Our previews included on this DVD gave us a yet to come Speed Racer the animated Movie (seriously? This looks almost worse than the live action one, if thatâ€™s possible), and two up and coming Marvel animated movies:
1) Hulk vs. Wolverine (which you can take a peak for your self here)
2) Hulk vs. Thor (which unfortunately has no link other than its preview on the DVD)
With the 2 out of 3 good previews, our movie starts out with a bed time story for some really young kids about the story of the Avengers â€“ The Worldâ€™s Mightiest Heroes. The Avengers had saved the earth and the Universe countless times, eventually dispatched all evil and settled down for lives of their own. Captain America (called the soldier in this film) married Black Widow (the Spy), Hank (Giant Man) and Janet Pym (the Wasp) were married as did the Black Panther (the King as he is called) and his bride (whom in Marvel comic world is Storm from the X-men, but she gets no mention here other than bride, so her 15 minutes must be over).
Ironman (the Knight), Hawkeye (the Archer), and Thor (a God) all rounded out the Avengers in this little film. All is happy in the world, until Ultron returns to earth (he was gone?!?) and defeats the Avengers (wow that was easy), but not before they do one last act of bravery and pull a Jor-el and rocket off their kids in a ship to safety in a far away place. Ultron takes control of most of the world, and is working on the rest when the story begins.
We get introduced to the Next Avengers as they are playing tag and such around the safety of their far away island. The Next Avenger team consists of James (Captain Americas and Black Widows kid), Torunn (the daughter of Thor, who left Earth when Odin died to assume rule over Asgard), Azari (son of Black Panther and his mystery bride), and Pym (you guessed it, the offspring of Giant Man and the Wasp).
They are all mentored and watched over by a 70 something year old man named Tony (I was thinking it might be Almeda, but it turned out it was Tony Starkâ€¦ imagine that). It might have been all of 15 seconds before I had major eye roll going at the introduction of these kid heroes, as unfortunately the teenage heroes are voiced by probably 7 year old kids, the animation was made by 7 year old kids, and the story was written and is certainly for 7 year old kids.
Somehow though, the 7 year old kids managed to understand they were writing about teenage heroes and without any disrespect, made a few of them self absorbed Generation Yâ€™ers (see Scotty I pay attention), Hawkeyeâ€™s kid (which I cant even recall his name), who you meet much later in the film was probably the worse.
The story is filled with the kids, who have somewhat variant powers of their parents, making one constant bad decision after another which leads to their secret island location being discovered by Ultron. The Vision (gee, first Tony Stark now a 2nd existing Avenger, I guess they all werenâ€™t destroyed after all) helps the kids escape their first encounter with Ultron.
However, since they are in bad decision mode they decide to attack Ultra City, the heart of Ultronâ€™s power and army. Here they meet up with Hawkeyeâ€™s kid who lives hidden behind the city walls, but they are all forced to flee to the desert to escape their failed attack.
The desert also happens to be a hiding place for one 70 something year old Bruce Banner (hey the Hulk, another existing Avenger, ya know for wiping out all of the Avengers, so far we have met up with 3 of them, those kids should call 911 as they got robbed on their bed time story).
As you can imagine, Ultron tracked them all to the desert, and thus an ensuing battle occurs. The kids mainly fight robots (well Avenger robots that were taken over by Ultronâ€¦ trust me, you donâ€™t want to knowâ€¦), and you can guess who pounds the shiny metallic out of Ultronâ€¦ none other than the Hulk (so how did the original Avengers lose again?!?!).
On the positive side, Next Avengers did have some, uhhhâ€¦some uummmâ€¦ ok well they did have some (although very brief) cool battle scenes, sorta (look Iâ€™m reaching for something here). It also hadâ€¦. well, ok, nothing else positive.
On the negative side, I canâ€™t figure out why this movie was made. In fact, I canâ€™t imagine how that brainstorming board meeting went at Marvel other than to target little kids. See, originally, as Marvel got into the animated movie game, they first made Ultimate Avengers. If you havenâ€™t seen it, the Capâ€™n HIGHLY recommends it. It was a great story (origin story), it had a great plot, super voice acting, really cool animation, cleverly written dialogue, and some definitely cool battle scenes.
This animated direct to DVD did so well, they made a sequel that was even cooler than the first, Ultimate Avengers II (and was a story about the rise of Black Panther and the world being taken over by aliens (again super script, voice acting, animation, and battle scenes).
Marvel had another huge hit on their hands, so they rolled out Ironman (before the live action movie), and this was even better than Ultimate Avengers as most of the battle scenes had a mix of superb animation + CGI, it really was very cool (you should see it).
Up to bat next for Marvel was Doctor Strange, which was pretty good, and on par with the previous releases but it didnâ€™t have a huge following. So somehow Marvel decided â€œHey you know what we needâ€¦ how about we stop making really cool stuff, and make some really crap stuff for 7 year olds, because they are the ones who buy these movies, and we can even get 7 years old to write this movie, voice, and draw itâ€¦ SOLDâ€!
Iâ€™m pretty sure that was the line of thinking Marvel had for Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow, unfortunately you get these heroes today. Itâ€™s good to see marvel get back to what the fans want with the previously mentioned previews. Hulk vs. Wolverine was a HUGE comic line, so it looks like that is being brought to the animated front, followed by hulk going to Asgard to thump on Thor for a bit too. So please marvel, continue with the cool stuff and leave the 7 year old stuff off the drawing board, itâ€™s what Disney is for anywaysâ€¦
For Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow, the Capâ€™n says: Put a cape over it, and let it die alreadyâ€¦